The role of product management has never been more important to organizations seeking to win as the market leader in their industry.  This is why it’s imperative for organizations to understand that there are ramifications of ineffective product management.

There are at least three factors driving this trend: 

  • The global pandemic drove organizations to rapidly respond and reach customers through digital channels. Top organizations accelerated the adoption of digital capabilities by seven years in the past year alone.
  • To stay competitive, product managers must drive innovation to adapt to rapidly changing markets and tough competition.
  • Market dominance used to be about feet on the ground and sales execution. In our increasingly digital world, market dominance is driven by digital experiences which are the responsibility of product teams. 

Today, market-leading companies leverage a product-led culture to accelerate innovation and revenue. However, not every organization has made this transformation.

We’re calling this new era The Age of Product, where the best products win.

So, how can product teams become a competitive advantage for their organization and build the products that will win?

Product teams face unique challenges

There are some obstacles that all of us as product leaders and managers face daily.

Three out of four product managers have been in their roles for two years or less. This can often result in many PMs acting more like project managers or order takers than product managers. Oftentimes, this will lead to building what the sales or engineering teams ask for, rather than what the market dictates. Additionally, once they know the basics of their craft, they jump ship to join firms with strong product cultures.

Many PMs, early in their careers, will seek out bigger companies. That might be one of the FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google) companies or another large, name-brand company with an established product culture. They can learn the essential skills required of product managers to help build great products and high-performing product organizations. It’s that competition that all other product organizations and companies are facing.

Today’s PM development solutions are inadequate

Did you know that the #1 reason product managers leave their current positions is their product leaders’ lack of mentorship? It’s true. 

Given the numerous demands of their roles, product leaders struggle to mentor their people. This often results in product managers turning to dusty training binders, cheap, low-quality online courses, and costly, dogmatic university certificates. Unfortunately, none of them provide adequate mentorship. 

Online courses are typically taken over a limited time period. This fails to keep PMs sharp, given that product management is continually evolving. 

Every PM learns differently, comes from different backgrounds, and they are at various stages of their careers. Each product organization has its own set of verbiage, internal processes, and definitions for what it means to be a great product manager within their company. These factors are driving the need for a more personalized, scalable approach.

The impact of ineffective product management

All of the above factors can lead to ineffective product management, which can significantly impact your product team and organization as a whole. 

Companies with ineffective product management face one in three product launches failing, 30 percent lost engineering throughput, and significant missed revenue.  The impact of low-performing product teams threatens the success of digital transformations.

This is why the gap is widening between the winning and losing organizations in The Age of Product.

There has to be a better way

Products That Count has spent countless hours pinpointing product managers and leaders’ problems in The Age of Product. We’ve sought the counsel of many incredible C/VP-level product executives to get their takes.

Next week, we’ll return with a blog on how we went about discussing the problems and defining a solution.We’ll be announcing the official launch of our solution at the 2021 Product Awards. You can be one of the first to discover the answers. Click here to register for the 2021 Product Awards.

Learn more about our process for creating a path to market leadership any company can follow.

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